Statement

UPDATED 5pm: This morning’s delays at Melbourne Airport

16 Dec 2013

Early this morning a number of aircraft were delayed at Melbourne Airport due to a software fault in our digital tower technology at our Melbourne air traffic control tower.

Safety is our priority and a result of the fault, Airservices took a number of measures to ensure the continued safety of the travelling public.

A number of contingencies were put in place to safely manage traffic, including reverting to manual, paper-based systems which is used in the majority of our air traffic control towers around the country.

Additionally, we delayed aircraft departing from other locations by about five minutes, including from Hobart, Launceston, Adelaide and Canberra.

Arriving aircraft were also ‘slowed down’, meaning that controllers used a reduced rate of arrivals and departures to safely sequence traffic.

The maximum delay for any one flight was less than 30 minutes. There were minimal flow-on impacts to the rest of the national air traffic network.

There were about 85 flights which arrived or departed from Melbourne Airport this morning between 8am and midday. Many of these flights were not adversely impacted.

Airservices is investigating the cause of the software fault to ensure that we prevent a reoccurrence.

We again thank the travelling public for their patience this morning.